Home / Politics & Governance / THE BUSINESS OF EXIT POLL

THE BUSINESS OF EXIT POLL

The term itself has become the darling of the nation as well the world. Within a day or two it will fade away waiting to be rediscovered in forthcoming assembly elections. India’s 18th Lok Sabha Elections, the largest democratic exercise on the planet concluded on 1st June 2024 as the lengthy 44-day electoral process ended, shifting the attention to exit polls. In past 36 hours we have seen at least 9-10 exit poll projections by renowned media houses supported by their respective research agencies. It won’t be wrong to say, there’s a mad rush to prove the accuracy of these exit polls.

Also, hundreds of political analysts and psephologists have evolved sharing their opinion on exit polls. It has become like a stock market, where everybody is collecting data from various sources and with a few adjustments here and there are able to proclaim the invincible – The Great Indian Lok Sabha Election 2024. It suddenly seems, there are no more breaking news, no focus stories, nothing bad or significant is happening in our country other than discussing exit polls. In case you missed, ongoing elections have also become one of the most expensive in the history of mankind so far. That’s not all the stakes are high for exit polls too, though we will never know the exact figures.

Even the cost of conducting exit polls in India is significant looking into several factors, including the scale of the election, the number of polling stations, and the depth of data collection.

Cost Considerations:

To understand the sheer magnanimity of the entire process, have a look at some of these statistics (figures are approx.) –

⦁ The Lok Sabha elections 2024 had approximately 10.5 lakh polling booths across India

⦁ There were 96.8 crore electors

⦁ 55 lakh EVMs were deployed across these polling stations

⦁ Notably, there were 1.8 crore first-time voters and 19.47 crore voters in the age group of 20-29 years.

Even you plan a sample size across states, covering different geographies and demographics so that the sample collected is as diverse as possible, one can imagine the sheer cost of conducting and then analyzing such data to arrive at an exit poll.

⦁ Exit polls involve extensive fieldwork, data collection and analysis.

⦁ Costs include hiring pollsters, conducting interviews, data processing, and logistics.

No denying the fact that technological advancements have significantly influenced the conduct of exit polls. Techniques such as call-backs to respondents, images of interviews being conducted, phone calls from the field, and WhatsApp groups have enhanced data collection and analysis.

Challenges and Accuracy:

⦁ Exit polls can be erratic and sometimes yield conflicting results.

⦁ Their accuracy is often judged based on personal opinions about political parties.

⦁ Some polls have been off the mark in predicting winners.

You may think, why spend time and money on exit polls when results will be out in 2-3 days, but the fact is knowing who might be winning before we know who has won interests – industrialists, businesspeople, traders, bankers, economists etc. Based on which political party is expected to lead sets the tone of the nation as a whole. Conducting exit polls has evolved into a significant business, with large sample sizes and intense competition among agencies.

We are just a day away from the actual poll results. Soon the curtains will be down on the largest and the longest election saga of the world. Who will win, only time will tell but Exit Polls are here to stay and so does the interests connected to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  •  
    Previous Post

    Gruesome Murder: Issue of Bangladeshi Migrants